Four Unexpected NBA Breakout Players
Here are four players that have really performed way above expectations so far this season. There are many that are worthy of being here, but I included the four most noteworthy players. They have all been a big help to their teams, some bigger than others.
Dorell Wright has gotten off to a magnificent start. Many people overlooked the possibility of Wright putting up some impressive stats. The Warriors lacked much of a small forward, so they picked him up during the offseason.
He has been more of a role player who came off the bench for most of his career, so a starting spot for him was rare. It gave Dorell a chance to prove his worth in the league, and he surely took advantage of the opportunity. He dropped 15 points in his first game against the Rockets with Shane Battier guarding him for a majority of the game. 15 point games didn't happen often for Wright in years past.
The ensuing game had Wright dropping 24 points along with 8 rebounds. Wright has been able to uphold a similar output on a nightly basis. He's becoming the 3rd option behind Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry right now, which is outstanding.
The best part about this is that the Warriors, who normally aren't too good of a team, are now off to a 7-4 start, mainly due to the key additions of David Lee and Dorell Wright, although now David Lee is injured with an infected elbow due to Wilson Chandler's unkempt teeth.
Travis Outlaw had stood out to me on the still lowly New Jersey Nets. They have improved from last season and have added some new faces, but they still aren't close to being a team to reckon with. Outlaw was very similar to Dorell Wright in the way that they were both offseason additions who found themselves in a starting role.
Travis Outlaw is having a pretty inconsistent season so far, but it is better than his prior seasons. He'll go from scoring 20 points one night to scoring six the next. He's already known to be a solid on ball defender and he is now stepping up his offensive game to make him a two sided player.
There have been two things I've loved about Outlaw so far this season; he's finally creating a lot of points for himself instead of being set up for nearly all of his baskets and I love that he is shooting a very good FG%. He has a great shot selection and he rarely chucks up atrocious shots.
We all knew that Luis Scola was a good player, but not as good as he has been playing so far this season. He is averaging 23 PPG and 10 RPG right now. He is easily putting up at least 20 points each game and he is doing it consistently.
He's not the most typical foreign big man. He has multiple ways in which he can score. He can post up, knock down a long mid range jumper or even out muscle someone under the rim to get the score. He isn't the strongest power forward, but don't underestimate his strength. He will work to get position under the basket. He's one of the hardest workers in the NBA.
If you watched the world basketball championship this past summer, you should have realized that Scola tore it up. He scored around 30 PPG there and led Argentina to 2nd place. After seeing him play over the summer, I knew he could have a breakout season and he hasn't proved me wrong.
He should be able to maintain this type of play for the rest of the season. Now the Rockets just need to find a way to actually win games and not lose so many close games.
Elton Brand hadn't been the same since he was in LA playing for the Clippers. He never has done much in the past years in Philly. This season, he leads his currently 2-10 76ers in Points Per Game, Rebounds Per Game, and Blocks Per Game.
He is averaging about 17 PPG and he isn't showing any signs of slowing down. He has consistently been scoring around 20 PPG and he has a pretty good field goal percentage. He has been able to body his defenders and finish at the rim, sometimes drawing fouls.
What seems to be different this year is his newly found aggression and a more developed jumpshot. He has been able to consistently back down an opponent and then get a jumpshot off in some way.
He hasn't really been able to lead them to very many wins but his stats speak for themselves. If you see him play, you can see that there is something different about him now.